Even as the fourth season of IPL i.e. IPL 4 kickstarted recently, Buzzintown takes a look at some of new developments and some stars this time.
New IPL 4 teams: Kochi, Pune
The Sunanda Pushkar saga notwithstanding, Kochi team seems to boast of a formidable line of players. Mahela Jayawardhane, who was among the most prolific run getters in the recently concluded ICC Cricket World Cup matches.
By the rather high decibel creation of Kochi team, the creation of Pune Warriors carried more weight given the kind of money it generated during the bidding process. Infact, initially quite a few Bollywood actors had shown interest, chiefly Saif and Kareena and Ajay Devgan and Sanjay Dutt. But as the bidding amount skyrocketed, it was left for Sahara to pick up the team.
Past Champions: Rajasthan Royals, Deccan Chargers, Chennai Super Kings
Of the last three editions, two finals have been won by relatively less fancied teams. Shane Warne led Rajasthan Royals were the least fancied team but they romped home as winners in the first edition of the IPL.
Then came the second edition i.e. IPL 2009 and yet another non fancied team, the Deccan Chargers walked home with the trophy. It was only in the last edition i.e. IPL 2010 that we saw two fancied teams putted against each other. Eventually Chennai Super Kings beat Mumbai Indians.
Stars in each team
Here’s a list of stars in each team this time:
Chennai Super Kings: Dhoni, Suresh Raina & Micheal Hussey
Dhoni: The most charismatic remains World Cup winning skipper of Indian Mahendra Singh Dhoni. His captaincy is among the most talked about thing in Indian cricket off late.
Suresh Raina: Another star of the CSK team is Suresh Raina. The cracker of a semi final against Pakistan saw him play a critical knock that steered the team to victory along with a masterly knock by Yuvraj Singh a 74-run partnership between the two. This Uttar Pradesh player is an electrifying fielder to boot and between him, Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli can save as much as 30-40 runs.
Micheal Hussey: He is an Australian cricketer, a left-handed specialist batsman. Hussey is often called Huss, The Huss and Mr Cricket, the last due to his encyclopaedic knowledge of his sport.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Brad Haddin, Gautam Gambhir, Yusuf Pathan, Brett Lee, Jacques Kallis
Brad Haddin: He is a right-handed batsman and wicket-keeper having played 32 Test and 76 ODIs in all.
Gautam Gambhir: His masterly knock of 97 runs in the World Cup final against Sri Lanka is still the talk of the town. He came in when India was reeling under the shock of Sehwag’s departure and no sooner had he made entry, master blaster Sachin too made a hasty retreat. It was left to Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli to steer India from a tough spot to a victory like situation.
Yusuf Pathan: Better known as Irrfan Pathan’s elder brother, he is a powerful and aggressive right-handed batsman and a right-arm off-break bowler. In fact, it was his Rajasthan Royal stint that got him recognition internationally.
Brett Lee: Brett Lee, a lethal fast bowler and possibly the fastest in the world, he plays for Australia. Alongwith Shoiab Akhtar of Pakistan, he is a most fearsome bowler now.
Jacques Kallis: After Sachin Tendulkar, Jacques Kallis is the second most prolific run getter in Test cricket with more 10,000 runs. With 40 plus Test centuries, he comes second to Sachin’s record of 51 centuries.
Deccan Chargers: Kumar Sangakkara, Kevin Pietersen, Pragyan Ojha, Ishant Sharma
Kumar Sangakkara: This wicket keeping batman from the Sri Lankan squad is a prolific run getter for his team. As the caption of the Lankans, he has brought many laurels to his team. If his predecessors like Arjuna Ranatunga busted the myth of Lankans being meek with apugnacious attack, Sangakkara was cast in a different hew: aggressive but always graceful. Under his stewardship, Sri Lanka went to reach the finals of two consecutive ODI World Cups.
Kevin Pietersen: Though he made his first class debut for Natal in 1997, he soon moved on to play for England expressing his displeasure against the racial qouta system in place in South Africa. His Englsih mom gave him an immediate eligibility. He made his international debut in ODIs against Zimbabwe in 2004 and Test debut in 2005 against Australia.
Pietersen became the fastest batsman to reach both 1000 and 2000 runs in ODI cricket. He has the second-highest run total from his first 25 Tests, behind only the Australian Donald Bradman, and was the fastest player, in terms of days, to reach 4,000 Test runs.
Till 2010 IPL 3 he played for Royal Challengers Bangalore. This year he was picked up by Deccan Chargers.
Pragyan Ojha: This Odisha player who plays for Deccan Chargers in the Indian Premier League and did exceedingly well in IPL3 and earned rare praise from his captain Adam Gilchrist. His showing at the first outing of IPL helped him make his ODI debut for the national team in 2008 against Bangladesh and subsequently in Asia Cup. In 2010 IPL 3 he was awarded the Purple Cap for picking up the most number of wickets in the tournament.
Ishant Sharma: This tall and lanky bowler from Delhi, fondly called ‘Lambu’ by his team mates, made his international Test debut against Bangladesh in May 2007 and ODI debut in June 2007 against South Africa.
He is credited to have bowled the second fastest ball by an Indian as he clocked 152.6 km/h at Adelaide against Australia on February 17, 2008 coming second to Javagal Srinath who clocked 154.5 at the 1999 World Cup.
Ishant’s most inspired spells have come against Australia where he troubled the best of their batting line up. Under the tutelage of Ventakesh Prasad, Ishant learnt the difficult art of reverse swing.
In IPL, in the last 3 outings he has played for Kolkata Knight Riders but in the IPL 4 he was bought by Deccan chargers. In fact, after his stupendous outing in Australia, he was famously bought by Shah Rukh Khan’s KKR at a astounding winning bid of $950,000!